Theater: Darrel Alejandro Holnes’s “Bayano”


In its 51st season, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre (NBT) has announced its two I AM SOUL Playwrights Residency workshop productions: Bayano—directed by Jeffrey Page and written by by Darrel Alejandro Holnes, a playwright, poet and native of Panama—and Retreat by Tracey Conyer Lee. An epic tale of freedom, Bayano runs March 11-15 at the National Black Theatre, located at 2031 Fifth Avenue between 125th and 126th Streets. Tickets are now on sale (see below). Here is more information from the press release.

More information: [. . .] Inspired by Homer’s The OdysseyBayano explores the history, spirituality, and liberation of Bayano, an enslaved African king who led the largest slave rebellion in Panama in the 16th century against the Spaniards. An imaginative journey through the treacherous Atlantic Ocean, the epic tale follows Bayano and the Yoruba deities and gods who intercede on his quest to return to his family in Yorubaland. Joining the cast is Mikayla Bartholomew (Femi), Jimmy Brooks (Dike), Ashley Bufkin (Sindara), Danaya Esperanza (Yemaya), Jamal James (Babatunde), and Garrett Turner (Bayano). The creative team includes Ramaj Jamar (Set/Costumes), Hoon Lee (Lighting), Mauricio Escamilla (Sound), and Belynda Hardin (Production Stage Manager).

[. . .] Tickets for Bayano and Retreat are now on sale. Shows are Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2:00 p.m., and Sunday matinee at 4:00 p.m.

Tickets are $20.00 general admission and can be purchased online at, by calling NBT directly at (212) 722-3800 or at NBT’s Box Office, open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. (Take the 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 subway to 125 th Street.) Follow NBT on Facebook ( and Twitter/Instagram (@NatBlackTheatre).

NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE (NBT) Founded by visionary Dr. Barbara Ann Teer in 1968, NBT is a nationally recognized cultural and educational institution. Dr. Teer pioneered “the healing art of Black theater as an instrument for wholeness in urban communities where entrepreneurial artists of African descent live and work.” In 1983, Dr. Teer expanded the vision of NBT by purchasing a 64,000-square-foot building on 125th Street and Fifth Avenue (renamed “National Black Theatre Way” by local law in 1994). This was the first revenue-generating Black arts complex in the country, an innovative arrangement through which for-profit businesses who shared NBT’s spiritual and aesthetic values rented retail space to subsidize the arts. Out of her vision, NBT houses the largest collection of Nigerian New Sacred Art in the Western hemisphere and is considered the authentic representation of a model whose time has come. Throughout its rich history, NBT has maintained a strong commitment to creating a space in which new and underrepresented voices can be brought to the forefront to provide unique and diverse perspectives on the myriad critical issues of equity and social justice that affect our nation today. During the past 50 years, NBT has produced over 300 original works, toured globally and launched international extensions, like the National Black Theatre of Sweden. NBT is supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, New York Community Trust, Howard Gilman Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, City Council of New York, City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs, Columbia Service Society and private donations. Visit and follow NBT on Facebook (@NationalBlackTheatre) and Twitter/Instagram (@NatBlackTheatre).

For interview and media inquiries, contact Alimah Boyd at 201-552-9239 (O) or

Also see


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s